What is a blog for?

Apparently we are beyond the point in human history when problems must be solved interpersonally.
Wondermark by David Malki

I suppose that title is not grammatically perfect, but it gets the idea across. The comic above brought the question to mind again, what do we expect our blog to be? A public forum or a private place for reflection? I have always assumed that what I post on the internet, comments, pictures, emails to a discussion group, anything and everything will be available for all to read. Yet I regularly come across people who, like the chap in the last panel (enlarge the image if you cannot read it) who insist that the blog “is MY PRIVATE SPACE.”

I know one person who regularly posted interesting and thought provoking pieces but when people commented with opposing views she would get angry and eventually stopped posting and shut down her blog as a result. This made no sense to me. Aside from the fact that she could have turned off commenting, how is that people reading and writing blogs today do not understand that it is a very public act?

I do know that many of our students come into college with a fairly narrow view of their readership, only their friends read their facebook status. Until they invite the dean of their college to be their friend…. This year we are requiring our first year students to keep a blog/journal and part of the exercise and experience is to get them to realize that they need to “think out loud,” to engage with ideas and issues in the public arena not simply so that their voice can be heard, but so that they can interact with others of opposing view. Cliché though it now may be, Prov. 27.17 still rings true.

Iron sharpens iron,
and one person sharpens the wits of another.

So I wonder what you all understand your blogs to be? For me it is personal in the sense that I am the one writing it and I have decided not to limit my posts to simply my field of study or one particular interests. If you follow Targuman you get a pretty good cross-section of my interests and thoughts. I know that others view their blog as an extension of their research and only blog on biblical studies, etc. Others still use it as a megaphone. If you have a blog, how do you use it, what do you understand it to be about? Public, private, idiosyncratic?

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